Federal Communications Minster Malcolm Turnbull believes the ABC’s “aggressive” post-budget interviews could have been more effective but has refused to say whether they were biased.
Senior ministers faced a series of tough ABC interviews after the release of the 2015 budget and critics have accused the broadcaster of charter-breaking partiality.
The Communications Minister reminded the ABC’s board of directors of their duty to ensure the tax-payer funded station’s content was accurate and impartial, but said the station gave politicians an “enormous” amount of airtime.
“I would say a more effective interviewing style is one that is less aggressive,” he told Channel Ten’s Bolt Report.
“Journalists of the ABC lean more to the left than to the right, but you’d say that about most journalists.”
The ABC offers a range of views and had taken steps to appoint conservative commentators like Amanda Vanstone and Tom Switzer, he said.
The minister has no editorial control of the ABC and Mr Turnbull reminded the board of directors they should get involved and ensure its news and current affairs were accurate and unbiased.
But channelling Winston Churchill, Mr Turnbull also added: “complaining about the newspapers is about as useful as complaining about the weather”.